Pulling into the Austin Motel after dark

This is a classic motel here in Austin.  It’s on South Congress, and one of many examples of unique neon in the city.  It looks positively phallic (if that wasn’t in your head, it was now, excuse the pun) and you just can’t miss it when you’re driving down the street.

There is a long and rich history, starting even before when it became a hotel in 1938.  One thing I remember as a kid (and still hear now from the backseat), is that my primary feature in any Texas motel was a swimming pool.  I understand they still have a kidney-shaped one out back.

As you can tell, I’ve been working my way around Austin, doing my best to grab some of the classic spots.  It takes a lot of time, because the conditions aren’t always perfect.  I like the sky and everything to be just about right…  but, sometime by the end of the year, I should have the major spots of interest captured!

The Austin Motel

  • love the treatment on the driveway and on the plants.. awesome 🙂

  • Hi Trey,

    Man, you are pretty mush like me hero and inspiration for HDR! i Love your pictures, for real man.

    I was wondering… i have a couple of question..:-P

    How many pictures do you use to take for 1 HDR? All 9 difrents exposures that you can brackets?

    and… 2nd:-)…. When i shoot at night, i always FIGHT a lot with the real dark objects cause they turn like really really noisy, and with the brights like lights… they turn like greys, all uglies… Any suggestion?

    Well.. Keep it up ! you are the man Trey…. BTW, im from houston:-D ive been trying to take a HDR to downtown, but cant still find the right place:-(


  • zphotogal

    Very cool!

  • Great work again Trey. Neon sign looks a bit phallic, but maybe that’s just me :-)! Was the flare from the street light added later?

  • LOL, Trey, you are right about the neon sign. But back when it was put up, they probably didn’t think about that, or maybe they did, it is a motel 😉 . Nice photo of another piece of your city. Love how all the colors are so vivid!!!! Great job!!

  • Dang! I wish we had places as folkloric as this one around here.

  • Well done! I know what you mean by the less than perfect conditions that can come up. I’ve been doing a project around my city for a little while now. It’s awesome because it is a way to bring the greatness within your city, instead of complaining about it.

    I’m reminded again that I need to get out around dusk to start shooting.!

  • Thanks!

    Daniel – this one is a 5-exposure shot…

    Dod – no – those flares are natural — they come from this 14-24 lens… I don’t add flares.

    Gail – yes it is hehe.. Happy bday 1 day late btw! 🙂

  • casusan

    Love the colors here! You don’t see many motels like this anymore!

  • Ed

    Trey – a peek inside the Broken Spoke in full hoe down or what about Stubs World Famous BBQ ?

  • such a beauty 🙂 cool photo

  • I love the cplor and the mood of this pic a lot! It has a surreal feel to it – like a David Lynch Movie! Great work ! Great assignment your on. I really wonder how you make time in between your business and private life to do all that photography.

  • beautiful capture

  • Wonderful image! Are you traveling around and landed in Austin, or do you live here?

    I’m an Austinite as well,

    I think i need to try some night shots!


  • Thanks!

    Tom – yes I do live here in Austin… so I have no excuse not to go out and shoot more! 🙂

  • Love this Trey -;0)

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